Initial H-1B numbers for fiscal year 2012 are dismal. USCIS released a memorandum on April 8, 2011 stating that it had received 5,900 H-1B petitions counting toward the 65,000 cap and approximately 4,500 petitions toward the 20,000 cap exemption for individuals with advanced degrees.
In past years USCIS would receive in the range of 180,000 applications on April 1 for 65,000 H-1Bs and 20,000 cap exempt H-1Bs. The high demand for H-1Bs in previous years caused USCIS to institute a lottery system where 65,000 of the 180,000 petitions received would be drawn at random and the remaining petitioners would be out of luck. The weak US economy over the past few years has clearly taken its toll on H-1B filings. We’ve gone from a peak of 180,000 petitions on April 1 in the heyday of H-1B petitions to the current lackluster 5,900 petitions in the first week of H-1B filing season.
You can download a copy of the recent USCIS memo here: USCIS Continues to Accept FY 2012 H-1B Petitions
Click this link to learn more about the H-1B visa: [intlink id=”88″ type=”page” /]